Mystery Snails & Ramshorn Snails in Brackish Tank?

Discussion in 'Brackish Tanks Forum' started by Tim Wheatley, Dec 6, 2009.

  1. Tim WheatleyNew MemberMember


    I am converting a freshwater tank to brackish (1.005 or so) which currently contains Violet Goby, Guppies, Ghost Shrimp, Mystery Snails and Ramshorn Snails.

    My only real query is on the snails, can they adapt and survive in this environment? I also have a batch of Mystery Snail eggs on the inside of one of the lids, would the young survive (it can be moved - just wet the surface you want it to stick to and it'll stick).

    I have two other Freshwater tanks, all with these helpful snails (one of the other tanks also has Malaysian Trumpet Snails), so moving them out of the to-be-Brackish tank is no problem.

    Thanks for your help...

  2. iloveengl

    iloveenglWell Known MemberMember

    Hello Tim. Welcome to the forum. :;hi1

    I'm so glad to hear you're moving the violet goby to brackish. That's very responsible of you! If you have pics of your goby, I'd love to see them.

    Mystery snails and ramshorn won't survive brackish conditions. Your mts, though, will be fine. Olive nerite snails are also great for brackish tanks.

    If you haven't done so already, I suggest sand substrate for your vg, so he can feed properly. They also love to burrow and anything besides sand can really damage their mouths and bellies.

    :;hf I'm so pumped for you!! If you have any brackish questions or concerns about your goby, we're here to help.
  3. OP

    Tim WheatleyNew MemberMember

    Hi - thanks,

    I have sand in all my tanks. Used Play Sand (intended for Children) and have seen no ill-effects. Cost me $6 for what would have cost me almost $200 from fish stores...

    I was initially annoyed because the VG was sold to me under advice that it would be fine in my 55G (with Tiger Barbs - large group of 15). Didn't do enough research myself and relied on the advice of the LFS. They sold it as Freshwater and semi-aggressive... It was pretty easy to see he wasn't aggressive and eventually easy to see he isn't Freshwater.

    Pretty soon I saw the Tigers nipping him and as I'd only seen them do that with Snails it got me pretty worried. I re-arranged my tank and gave him a hiding place which the Tiger Barbs would not go near (leaned wood up against the glass), then I literally had to thaw the frozen food I was feeding him, distract the Tigers with their own and push the food under the wood with my fingers - otherwise he wouldn't come out to eat.

    I transferred him over to my 29G eventually and sent my Tetras in the opposite direction (all my tanks maintain the same PH and within a degree or so temp as they'll all in the same room), he didn't show any stress after the move as he immediately started spurting sand backwards as he dug himself a new hiding spot and now he comes out to feed during the day. Doesn't seem stressed anymore now he's not being attacked!

    I'm gradually learning what is required to go Brackish and I know it has to be done very gradually. I also need to stock with plants as all my current plants are Freshwater only. My only real concern is with understanding salinity. Everything I have read says 1.005 is where I should probably be heading, but I feel like I need a step-by-step guide on how much salt gets me there (and am I right that it is marine salt, not freshwater salt)? Maybe it's math and lack of understanding of ratios that is worrying me. ;)

    Anyway, thanks for the welcome.

  4. iloveengl

    iloveenglWell Known MemberMember

    My story is pretty much exactly like yours. I fell in love with Melvin (my vg), then found out he was brackish, not fw like the store said. Luckily, I happened across a 55 tank, stand, and set-up for a great price on Craigslist, so Melvin was moved into his new home right away.

    Mine has play sand too. WAY cheaper and I like the natural look. It's adorable when they burrow under stuff. :p

    Here are a few links:

    You can actually acclimate your vg to brackish fairly quickly - in less than a day, and the sooner the better. It's really easy! Start with 1 teaspoon marine salt per gallon of water. 12 hours later, add another 1 teaspoon marine salt/gallon. And you're done. :) You now have low-level brackish water. :) VGs don't need to be acclimated as slowly as mollies or gups or whatnot because they're not raised in fw, so they're really much better off in brackish asap.

    When you do water changes, figure that the salinity is going to increase slightly by the end of the week from evaporation. So for water changes, you can do 2 Tablespoons per five gallons of replacement water. That should keep the tank at a fairly stable salinity with evaporation. (VGs actually want a little higher than 1.005 - more like 1.007.) :)

    For my 55g, by the end of the week, 5g has evaporated. I usually take out 10g while vacuuming. So, I replace 15g every week. Keeps the water nice and clean, even with all my livebearers in there. My process is to add the water conditioner to each bucket of replacement water - add all 3 buckets to the tank - and then add the salt. That's just what works for me, so I don't forget conditioner or salt.

    You'll want a liquid test kit. I use the API Master Test Kit for Saltwater tanks. Has to be saltwater, not freshwater, otherwise your readings come out wrong. I use a cheap hydrometer from PetsMart to check the salinity level. Since brackish tanks are meant to fluctuate in sg, I figure it's not necessary to spend the money on a more precise refractometer. If you can afford it though, I hear it's a cool thing to have.

    I'm glad your dude is starting to come out of his shell now. :) Once he's feeling healthy and safe, you'll see him swimming around, bumping into things, and just chilling out in the open all the time. :;hf

    I'm clearly excited to have another violet goby owner on the forum. lol :D
  5. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Hello Tim and Welcome to Fish Lore!
  6. OP

    Tim WheatleyNew MemberMember

    I would laugh sometimes when he was in the 55G of mine as I'd pile up the sand for him and put the wood on it. He'd spend days burrowing down to the glass. When it eventually got to the stage where he was unable to get under the wood anymore I'd have to pile the sand back up for him. I work from home so I got to see a lot of him. :)

    I've always wondered about this... I seem to get nowhere near the level of evaporation that other people do... Can being heavily planted have some kind of effect on that?

    Thanks for the tips on how to convert. I think I have things clear in my head now. I just wish people would use percentages rather than ratios. My English education failed me on that one and I run away screaming at the sight of them normally. ;)

    As I already have two Guppies in there (which my Tigers have displayed before they have a problem sharing their tank with), I'll still need to go slowly though and gradually because of that, I assume?

    No problem on the test kit front. :)

    Can you do a quick product check for me?

    I'm looking at using this salt (is there any issue Organic versus Synthetic?):


    I'm also going to need to get some plants that are Brackish adaptable. I currently have a lot of Amazon Swords at low level and some very, very tall plants - maybe Wisteria (the Ghost Shrimp seem to like being up high so they can leap on the food as soon as it breaks the water surface). Right now I have a Terrapin platform in the corner which is half buried with sand and the VG seems to really enjoy using that as his cave (pics attached). The entry way is surrounded by plants and he seems to like them, too...

    I'll probably work to replace those plants with these:

    At the moment he seems to come out to explore quite a bit. I think the tall plants I have make him feel like he's under cover. He usually runs back to his hole at some point though.

    He has got pretty good at smelling when I drop him food in there. Am I doing right with food? I feed him frozen brine shrimp, frozen bloodworms and I also crumble flakes between my fingers (though I have never seen him eating that). I also have Spectrum Thera+A Large Fish Formula (which the LFS originally sold me with the VG) that he does seem to enjoy quite a bit. That stuff is reeeally expensive though.

    Attached Files:

  7. OP

    Tim WheatleyNew MemberMember

    Well, this is slightly weird... The Ramshorn baby snails which were too small to take out of the Brackish tank and getting bigger, and I haven't seen a dead one yet. I'd actually say that they seem to be doing better in Brackish than in either of my freshwater tanks... That could be because none of the fish in the Brackish tank and ferocious eaters, I guess, so they're getting more food. In the freshwater 'shrimp' tank the shrimp will jump on every bit of food, while in the other tank the Danios and Barbs do the same...

    My salinity is 1.008.

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